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The Triple Gap – Critical Elements of Interpreter Education: Stakeholders’ Perspectives

by Peggy Cobb

Poster Session

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Students who graduate from Interpreter education programs frequently finding themselves struggling to pass a state or national test and unable to begin work as a competent interpreter. These students fall into what researchers have called the readiness-to-work gap. Ironically, interpreting practitioners who are recruited to teach in interpreter education programs find themselves in a gap of their own, between knowing how to interpret and knowing how to teach interpreting. Ultimately, the consumers of interpreting experience probably the most critical gap when the flow of communication during a job interview or doctor’s appointment is delayed, incorrect or absent. This qualitative study conducts a meta-synthesis examining research identifying critical elements of interpreter education as perceived by the stakeholders of interpreter education. In taking a closer look at how these stakeholders’ perspectives parallel or even overlap, the researcher sought to identify critical elements of interpreter education to inform research-based practices with the goal of narrowing all three gaps identified.

Participants will be informed of and consider the following:

  •  Data identifying the gap between knowing how to interpret and how to teach interpreting experienced by practitioner / educators.
  • Data identifying the gap between graduation and credentials experienced by graduates of Interpreter Education programs.
  • Data identifying the gap between message presentation and understanding experienced by consumers of interpreting
  • Possible further research and practice in the field of interpreter education toward narrowing all three gaps.

A white woman with light brown/blonde hair wearing a green shirt and a necklace and glasses smiles at cameraPeggy Cobb holds a Master’s degree in ASL-English Interpreting Pedagogy from the University of North Florida and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program for Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Texas. Peggy is a full time Interpreter Educator at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, an interpreter in the community, and the Deaf Ministry coordinator at First Baptist Mansfield. Peggy has been certified and interpreting since 1988 and her passions include interpreting in the church, in court and in the community, and spending quality time with her five granddaughters.